One of my greatest pleasures is to own and care for Koi. Recently, Angel and I did a bit of “window” shopping, visiting 2 different Koi shops in one day. We cannot have our own pond at the moment but that does not stop us from admiring these beautiful fish whenever we have an opportunity. (Angel also seems to have quite an expensive taste when it comes to the species of Koi she likes, so maybe not having a pond now is a blessing in disguise )
Below are some of the pictures taken while visiting the shops. Both have lovely big ponds, with one hidden away levels of ponds with winding paths and bamboo forests (Yes, in Joburg of all places).
As a follow up to my previous post, here’s a gem I received tonight. I have not changed a single thing……
Hello,I write to inform you that I can enforce the release of this your unsettled Contract/Lottery/Inheritance claims but I know you will find it extremely difficult to believe me due to what you have already gone through in terms of disappointments, unfulfilled promises and wasted years on this transaction. I want to tell you that in this era of information technology, it is very simple to retrieve your funds and have it credited into your account just by using a simple computer that is connected to the Internet. I am an Australian by birth but a citizen by nigeria, Which means my father and mother where Australian but i was given birth here in nigeria and i have been here all my life, And also i am white in colour.All your struggles of the past were not really necessary but you had to go through them out of ignorance of what is really in vogue. If you can have faith in me, I will contact you again with my full plans on how to retrieve these funds from the Nigerian treasury. I do not want to talk much here like the yahoo criminal. I am a guru in Information Technology (IT) and I prefer going straight to the point and get immediate result.Would you be interested in retrieving your contract inheritance funds without going through the rigors of endless government bureaucratic and make-believe bottlenecks?.I have designed an Open Financial Exchange (OFX),which is a Personal Financial Management (PFM)scaleable platform capable of instalmentally siphoning your funds out of the database of the Central Bank of Nigeria without any traces and risks whatsoever.This is purely e-commerce and the OFX server would simply be acting as a Bridge between the CBN telex room and your receiving banking co-ordinate.. It would amaze you how easy your funds shall be retrieved, so get back to me if you want me to do this for you. Since I have built/designed the platform already. It is still ok if you don’t need my help, but kindly let me know your position so that I do not waste my time waiting in vain.I shall give you details of how this deal would be done, but in your response kindly let me know what I stand to gain from you by helping you actualize this payment. Contact me on (firstname.lastname@example.org).Regards,Dr. Martins O’Brien
I get a lot of scam emails to my gmail address. I do like to read them every now and then, mainly to laugh at the horrible grammar and spelling. But I’ve noticed that the letters are slowly evolving and becoming a little more sophisticated. People must still be falling for these scams, why else would they still be doing it?
For those that don’t know, what you get is a mail stating that you are to receive on confirmation a large sum of money. If you were gullible enough to reply, they make it all very official, but then the catch comes. You need to pay over a certain amount of money to them before they will release your funds. They call it a release fee, insurance fee or some other plausible sounding cost that is for your account. And since it is usually such a small amount compared to what you will be receiving you pay it, only to be requested for another payment at a later stage for some other cost that is delaying the process.
Bottom line, if you have to pay money to get money it’s a scam. Run.
Here’s the latest one I received this morning. Evidently all I have to do is confirm that I’m not dead and the money will be wired to me:
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND (IMF)
DEPT: WORLD DEBT RECONCILIATION AGENCIES.
ADVISE: YOUR OUTSTANDING PAYMENT NOTIFICATION
A power of attorney was forwarded to our office this morning by two gentle men, one of them is an American national and he is MR DAVID DEANE by name while the other person is MR… JACK MORGAN by name a CANADIAN national.
This gentlemen claimed to be your representative, and this power of attorney stated that you are dead, they brought an account to replace your information in other to claim your fund of $12.5 Million Usd which is now lying DORMANT and UNCLAIMED, below is the new account they have submitted:
ACCOUNT NO. 2984-0008-66
Be further informed that this power of attorney also stated that you suffered and died of throat cancer. You are therefore given 24hrs to confirm the truth in this information, If you are still alive, You are to contact us back immediately, Because we work 24 hrs just to ensure that we monitor all the activities going on in regards to the transfer of beneficiaries inheritance and contract payment.
You are to call this office +919654662169 immediately for clarifications on this matter as we shall be available 24 hrs to speak with you and give you the necessary guidelines on how to ensure that your payment is wired to you immediately.
Just also be informed that any further delay from your side could be dangerous, as we would not be held responsible of wrong payment.
Mr George Osborne
International Monetary Funds Agents
I wonder if that is a real bank account?
This weekend past, being a long weekend, we packed our bags and headed out to Howick, a little town on the way to Durban. The plan was to go and visit Angel’s Granny, who we haven’t seen for over a year. Originally the In-laws would have joined us, but with their move, they could not make it, so we asked Sister-In-Law B in stead.
The trip down was pretty uneventful and the traffic was manageable. I did however have a stomach bug, so for a change we were stopping at every petrol for me to run to the loo, and not because the ladies needed loo breaks! This caused the 500Km trip to take more than 7 hours……….why do you want to hurry a road trip in any case?
We also stopped at Harrismith for brunch and visited the Smallest Church in South Africa there, as SIL B hasn’t seen it yet.
When we finally got to Howick, we went straight to a fair where we were meeting the family we were staying with. The fair was near its end, but we did manage to browse some of the stalls and do some shopping.
The were staying on a farm just outside of Howick, up in the mountains for the weekend, with some awesome scenery.
The next day turned out to be quite busy. It started with a visit to Granny. She didn’t know we were coming, so it was a pleasant surprise for her. After tea and a chat, we headed to the shop for a few groceries. Then it was a visit to a Belgian Chocolate Shop, a Belgian Waffle Restaurant as some antique and crafty shops. On the way back home we got sidetracked and went to watch a Polo practice session. This was quite educational for me. I know nothing about this sport.
When we finally headed home, I showed the kids how to bake bread (We made 2 loaves). SIL B Showed them how to make Apple Crumble, and Angel showed them how to make Chocolate Ganache. Needless to say, dinner was a feast!
After dinner we played a few rounds of Rummikub, Angel’s favorite game. It felt quite late, so when I stated that we would play one more game and then head for bed, my pronouncement was met with disbelieving laughter. It was only 7:30pm! Needless to say we ended up having a few more games.
I must just note here that it felt quite strange having the bed to ourselves, and being able to sleep late, with no dogs taking over and waking us up demanding food.
The next morning we had left-over baked bread for breakfast, pack the car, and hit the road. First stop was a visit to the Mandela Capture Site Museum, which is on the road back to Howick. It is quite a long walk down to the main Sculpture, but I decided to chill on a bench while Angel and SIL B did the walking.
Then a final visit with Granny. We got some nice pictures of Granny with her two grand daughters and escorted her to the dining room as it was almost time for her lunch. We said our goodbyes, quickly popped into the shop for drinks and snacks for the road and then got going.
The roads, to say the least, was a bit of a nightmare. I honestly don’t understand why so many people take so many risks while driving on the road. With constantly having to look out for other drivers and trying to pass all the trucks on the road, the drive back home ended up being quite tiring. Boy was I glad when we finally saw the Gauteng sign. Everything just looks better in Gauteng. More civilised
Phew, what a weekend. I’m quite buggered. Angel and I have a standing booking on our calendar for a weekend off, once a month. During this weekend we do what we want to do, when we want to do it. We tend to not accept any invites and usually just chill (mostly at home).
This weekend past (a long weekend) was indeed our weekend off, but turned out to be anything but relaxing. Please note though that I’m not complaining. I would do everything again in a heartbeat.
So my weekend in a nutshell:
Saturday morning after a cupcake order was collected, I packed my toolbox and some garden tools and we head off to Jon and Sheena to help out with some DIY that needed to be done around their house. Said DIY ended up being disassembling, sanding and painting a Baby Compactum and Baby Cot. Didn’t quite finish all the painting, so left the evening exhausted but satisfied. Poor Jon himself work like a demon, until even he had no energy left.
Sunday morning, Angel and I popped out to Pick’n’Pay to do our monthly Grocery shopping. It being payday weekend and a Saturday, obviously meant the shops were packed, which is never fun. I had to laugh at Angel though. As we were driving home she said: “As much as I love shopping, I hate unpacking.”
After packing everything away it was back to Jon and Sheen to finish the painting and start assembling the Compactum. I must note that I had a few sore muscles by then, especially my hamstrings, but once I got going it was fine. When we got there Jon was already busy applying second coats to different pieces, so I just helped finishing up. Took a bit of a break to let everything dry (put up house number on the outside wall in this time) and then started carrying everything to the baby room to assemble. After a few upside down hinges and other small mishaps, we got everything back together. And it looked great! And most important, Sheena was happy! We left tired but content.
Late that night I checked my phone and saw a whatsapp from my MIL. She asked me to get a trailer in the morning and load some pot plants and tools to take to their new home, a cottage on SIL C’s property. I was hoping to relax the Monday, it being a public holiday, but I could not refuse the request.
So Monday morning, off we went to the in-law home. Changed cars as my car does not have a tow bar. Went to pick up the trailer. Back to their house. Loaded the trailer. Loaded a bookshelf last as Angel and I were taking it. Headed out to our house first to drop off the bookshelf (Hour long trip). Arrive at our house and realise we forgot our house keys in our own car. Arranged with neighbor to keep the bookshelf in their yard until we get back in the afternoon. Headed off to C’s house (Another hour). Being tired and not paying attention completely miss a turnoff and drive around in circles for another half hour trying to get back on the correct road. Took us 30 minutes to think off switching the GPS on my phone to find our way.
Arrived at C’s house where there fortunately were guys to help us unload. Finished unloading, checked progress on Cottage, and headed back. Dropped of trailer, dropped off car, went home. Arrived home and carried the bookshelf into our garage.
Finally done at about 5pm. Angel was an absolute angel then. I had a long and relaxing deep heat bath and she poured me a brandy to sip on while reading my book, soaking. Fortunately the rest of the night was without incident.
So, I’m at work today, but struggling to get going. Will have to force myself to have an early night tonight.
During a family outing this weekend past, I came across these flowers in the garden.
The bush the flowers were growing on does remind me quite a bit of a daisy bush, but the flowers I have never seen before.
As you can see, the flower petals almost make little tentacles, which is what attracted me to them in the first place.
So, I was initially stumped, but good old google came to the rescue.
It seems these flowers are one of the spooned variants of Osteospermum, or more commonly named African Daisy or even Cape Daisy. The variant that seems to match my pictures closely is called ‘Sunny Phillip’. So I was not far off thinking the bush looked a bit like a daisy bush.
You can read more about this pretty flower at Dave’s Garden.
I love discovering new things!
I started playing computer games quite young, back in the days even before colour screens. I can remember the doors that opened in the gaming world when 16 colour VGA monitors came out!
My choice in games were also quite specific. I was never one for skop, skiet en donner (First person shooter and fighting games). I was always drawn more to the strategic, simulation and role playing (RPG) genre. Games like Civilization (The first one!), Sim City, Master Of Orion, Ultima, Eye of the Beholder, Might and Magic, Populous, Colonization. I can go on and on.
In my opinion the games of today looks great. State of the art graphics and sound. Yet they do not attract me us much as the old classics do. The just don’t have the same richness in game play and story line. Angel always laughs at me when she see the games I’m currently playing. Heavily pix-elated. Corny music. But they are great. I can play hours and hours. And I do.
One of the great finds for me was the site GOG.com (Good Old Games). They have all the old classics. If they don’t have it, they’ll get it soon enough. They also package these games with a installer and often an emulator, so you can play them on today’s PCs which are much faster than they used to be. Note that there is a cost involved, but in my mind a few dollars are worth it (The price of cheap Apps for your phone these days).
I have steadily started working my way through all the games I played as a kid and I’m loving every second of it. And I think being a little bit wiser today (I hope), that I’m appreciating the game play in these games like I never did before. My strategy has also become more sophisticated. Guess I didn’t know everything when I was a teenager!
I also don’t need the newest and greatest gaming PC on the market just to be able to play games. These game run very nicely on older machines.
So, if you are a gamer like me, and you want to re-visit some of the old classics, go have a look. You won’t be sorry.
Howick is a little town in the Natal Midlands, South Africa. The Howick Falls is approximately 311 feet high and is part of the Umgeni River. The lake is sacred to the natives (The Zulu People) and traditional witch doctors (sangomas) are the only people allowed to approach it to offer prayers to Inkanyamba, the creature that lives in the falls.
The Inkanaymba is described as having a horse-like head with a serpentine body. It has horns on its head a crest on its back.
In local legends it is able to fly into the clouds (especially when looking for a mate) and when angry can create massive storms. Previous big storms in the area have been blamed on the creature. There are also cave paintings of the creature where it is often depicted as spewing water from its mouth.
As unlikely as it may sound, there still are sightings of the creature in recent times:
• Nearby in the Umgeni River a Conservation Services game ranger saw a creature with a horse-like head on the shore, but when he got closer it disappeared into the river. (1962)
• The caretaker of a caravan park near Howick Falls claims to have seen the creature twice (1971 and 1981):
o When looking into the misty falls he saw the form of a giant monster with its neck raised about 32 feet into the air. He said it had a crest running along its back.
• A fast-food shop owner at the falls claims he saw a 25 feet giant serpent-like creature rise out of the depths (1995). He did not have a camera there at the time, but offered a reward to any person who could take a picture of the creature. Sure enough a picture was produced, showing a long-necked animal rising out the water (Photos below).
• Reports began circulating of a monstrous snake-like beast in the community of Ezitapile in the Eastern Cape (2000). The monster was described as yellow with a horse-like head and a body as thick as a twenty quart barrel.
As far as the actual falls and pool at the bottom is concerned, it is highly unlikely that a big creature lives there. It is more likely that the local myths and real-live creatures like otters and eels got mixed together to produce the legend of the monster. Today you can arrange to abseil alongside the falls, down the gorge and into the pool. There is also a viewing platform above the falls close to the car park (This is where the shop-keeper allegedly saw the creature from).